We’ve been recyling up some new (or is that old?) oven tools for our bread oven at doughies HQ.
After a couple of “bad bakes” we’ve been musing that after hours of dough preparation you can still destroy a good dough in the final 30mins.
As with many things, having the right tools for the job [and some more experience with our oven] should help resolve this.
Here’s what we have been working on:-
Shortly after lighting the fire, you need to begin moving the firewood around within the oven.
Push it to the back.
Push it to one side.
Push it to the other side.
Push it out.
You get the picture. So you need a push.
Our push is a wooden broom handle with an old plasterers trowel on an angle at one end, with the addition of two wire brushes on one side.
The angle of the blade allows multiple orientations for pushing effectively; meanwhile the brushes give the oven floor a good sweep prior to the next step.
After pushing the fire out, you have a relatively clean oven floor.
But there’s still a lot of ash kicking around.
So you need a “scuffle”.
Now “to scuffle” means to “fight or struggle confusedly at close quarters” which is quite apt as there’s definately some struggling going on when trying to sweep a wood fired bread oven through a small oven door.
Our scuffle is a wooden broom handle with a canvas sack connected by a short chain. Add a little water from the scuffle bucket (damp not wringing) and you have a scuffle that will move the ash from the oven floor plus take the initial hot sting from that masonry.
Here’s a good video of some chaps in Melborne scuffling a bigger oven.
The Wooden Peel
With a clean oven its time to load the dough.
You need a wooden peel.
To peel means to “break away” or “unfurl”. A baker’s peel does just that, allowing you to slip off this wet, fragile proofed dough directly onto the oven floor.
Our wooden peel is a wooden broom handle dowelled to an old beech bread board which has been shaped into a smooth wedge shape. A big thing here was getting the peel to “fit” our loaves and our oven so we can load it fully.
The Metal Peel
After the required baking time, it is time to retrieve the bread.
For this we’ve chosen a metal peel.
We bought one from the guys at bakery bits; its a wooden handle number with a stainless blade, and it can pull out 2 or so loaves at a time.
More to do
More to do this weekend so as to be ready for some big bakes:-
- Build a wood store (or three)
- Fill wood store with split wood
- Create some proofing / loading boards out of ply
- Create some cooling racks adjacent to the oven